Apple in talks for $3.2bn Beats deal
Apple will acquire Beats’ streaming music service, which launched this year, and its audio equipment business, which includes its brand of headphones and audio equipment. The Beats management team will report to Mr Cook, sources said. Apple and Beats did not comment. The deal is likely to be seen as an admission that Apple needs to look outside its Cupertino labs to continue making an impact. While Beats commands a leading position in the premium headphone market, its real value to Apple is in revitalising its “cool” at a time when iTunes has waned in popularity and Samsung’s marketing campaigns have savaged the iPhone’s brand.
Wellcome Trust worry over Pfizer bid
Britain’s biggest medical research foundation has told the government it has “major concerns” over Pfizer’s £63bn offer for AstraZeneca, as the Wellcome Trust became the latest powerful voice to weigh in over the mooted deal.
Moscow ups stakes in gas dispute
Gazprom will only supply Ukraine with gas that has been paid for in advance from the start of June, Moscow said on Thursday, after Kiev missed another deadline to pay its mounting energy debt to the Russian company. Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister, said the statecontrolled enterprise would move to a system of pre-payment for supplies to Ukraine from next month, bringing the gas dispute closer to crisis.
One in five struggle to pay water bills
One in five households cannot afford to pay their water bill, a survey by the industry watchdog has revealed. With Ofwat, the regulator, piling the pressure on the country’s 19 regional supply companies to cut their charges, the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) said an increasing number of people were complaining that they did not believe their bills were fair.
NYSE plans to keep it simple
The New York Stock Exchange is planning to reduce the number of stock order types available to investors in an attempt to reduce complexity in equity markets.
The Daily Telegraph
Hermes sells three business parks
A division of Hermes Real Estate is selling three traditional business parks for £400m in order to focus on developing estates for Britain’s fastgrowing science and technology sectors. MEPC has appointed JLL to sell three of its seven business parks to release cash that will be used to boost new clusters for hi-tech, bio-tech and fastgrowing businesses.
Neil Woodford’s new fund to launch
Neil Woodford’s new fund, Woodford Equity Income, is to launch on 2 June. The annual cost for most investors will be 0.75 per cent.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Snapchat settles FTC charges
Mobile messaging app developer Snapchat has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers about the disappearing nature of the messages sent through its service. Snapchat also is settling commission charges that it misrepresented its data collection practices and didn’t employ reasonable security measures to protect users’ personal information. Snapchat agreed to a settlement that prohibits it from making future misrepresentations about the privacy, security or confidentiality of users’ information. The company will have to implement a privacy programme that will be monitored for 20 years.